Private Versus Public Sector Insurance Coverage for Drug Abuse

by Jeannette Rogowski

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This study examined financing mechanisms currently in place for treating drug abuse, focusing primarily on differences between private and public insurance mechanisms. Within the private sector, insurance coverage for drug abuse treatment is quite restrictive. Limitations typically exist on the type and amount of treatment that can be received per year or per lifetime, and benefits may quickly be exhausted. Limitations also exist with regard to public insurance funding. Eligibility requirements and the authorized settings in which care may be provided are extremely restrictive. It has been argued that public funding for drug abuse should be mainstreamed into Medicaid. However, this is not likely to occur due to significant institutional barriers, and in particular to the highly restrictive eligibility requirements for public programs.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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